Working from home is not as easy as you might believe, but it is possible. In this article, we discuss 5 ways to work from home more effectively.
Whether you have decided to begin your own online business, launch a course, or are forced to telecommute due to a *cough cough* certain pandemic, you are now living the work from home life.
At first the idea seemed perfect. You don’t have to worry about commuting, being stuck at the office, or your annoying coworker Karen, who won’t stop showing you pictures of her dog that you’ve already seen hundreds of times.
Now you can be your own boss. Make your own rules. Set your own schedule. Only now you have to stick to your schedule, follow your rules, and be your own boss, which all sounded great until your alarm clock went off and that new binge-worthy Netflix show just came out with a new season.
Millions of people work from home today, now more than ever before. What has been found amongst those who work from home is that – although everyone has different personality types and some might struggle more than others – the core issues people face working remotely are the same.
You might believe that in order to work from home successfully, you need to have the self-discipline of your dog when you tell him to sit and stay while you’re eating a fancy steak dinner.
The reality, however, is that anyone can work from home effectively.
How is this possible?
The most successful entrepreneurs who started their business online didn’t wake up one day and know everything there is to know about how to work from home effectively. They either struggled and learned the hard way or did their research and applied the knowledge to their routine.
I don’t know about you, but in this case… I would rather not learn the hard way.
Hopefully this article makes it easier for you, too.
5 Ways to Work from Home More Effectively
1. Create a morning routine
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mark Twain
OK Mark Twain… not exactly what we had in mind. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world stress the importance of having a daily morning routine. It’s more than setting an alarm, getting out of bed, and having a cup of coffee to start the day. It’s a daily ritual you perform that jumpstarts your mind and sets the tone for how the rest of your day will go.
Different ideas for morning routines include meditation, going on a walk/jog, reading a chapter from a book, or journaling. You can also shower, develop a self-care routine, and get fully ready for the day – even if you aren’t leaving the house. Many people find that getting fully dressed, rather than staying in sweats all day, helps them get into a productive mindset.
If you want to know the morning routines of the most successful people, click here.
2. Schedule realistically and stick to it
What Mark Twain could have meant in the quote above is begin your day with the most difficult task first, then everything else that follows will come easier.
When we create a schedule for ourselves, we want to plan it in a way that ensures our utmost productivity. This also means being flexible when necessary. Schedule yourself to work at the time of day when you know that you are the most focused and least distracted. If this means waking up before the sun comes up to begin your day then going to sleep early, so be it. If it means waiting until the rest of the house is asleep to finally be able to focus and then sleeping in a little later, do what works best for you.
The important thing is that you stick to it, get your work done, and be flexible when you need to be.
3. Boundaries boundaries boundaries
Since you will be at home, you will be surrounded by all of the luxuries of normal life apart from work. This means family, roommates, TV, laundry, household chores, pets, grocery shopping, etc.
It is important that you establish boundaries in your own mind and with those surrounding you that protect your work schedule. Being flexible enough to feed the pets when you’re supposed to be working because somebody else forgot to is one thing, but being expected to clean the house and take care of the children is another.
Communicate to those around you that your work time is important and should be respected. Sometimes those we love need to be reminded (from personal experience) that even though we are at home a majority of the time doesn’t mean we have free schedules because we do nothing but sit around the house all day. We have a job, it just looks different.
You also need to be able to establish those boundaries in your own mind. When it’s time to sit down for work, that is priority. One way to do this is by setting up a work space. You can use an office or desk, where you know in your mind when you are sitting in it it’s game time. If you don’t have either, find a place in your home that you can dedicate to work, such as a chair, couch, dining room table, counter, etc.
4. Take breaks
Companies are legally required to give their employees multiple breaks throughout the day. Two 15 minute breaks and one hour for lunch for the typical 9-5 job. You should also allow yourself a similar break schedule throughout your work day.
It is important to put your phone down, walk away from your computer/laptop, and rest occasionally. Allow yourself one hour for lunch and take the whole hour.
This can also include one or two days off per week to take a break from working. Sick days are also allowed, so don’t beat yourself up if you need a day off because you feel unwell. Just don’t make it a habit, as with any job.
5. Go easy on yourself, you’re doing a great job
Learning how to work from home more effectively is a process and will take time to settle into a routine that feels the best. You will have days where it feels effortless and you’re happy to be working from home. You will also have bad days where you can’t seem to get your head in the game.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake, don’t exhaust yourself, and relax when you feel overwhelmed.
You are doing something that not everyone can do. It does take self-discipline, but also self-care.